Benefits of Local SEO
As a business owner, you must have heard of “local SEO” a couple of times. If you are not very conversant with digital marketing, you might also be wondering what the term is and how it concerns you as a business operator.
Local SEO is an essential piece in the jigsaw of online business exposure. Regardless of the type of business, you are running, local SEO is vital if you want to put your business in front of hot prospects.
There are lots of other ways local SEO can tremendously benefit your business. But before we dive into that, let us first look at the definition of local SEO.
What is Local SEO
Just as the name suggests, local SEO is the act of optimising a (business) website to rank high in Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) for local search strings.
Local search strings such as:
- Plumbers near me
- Restaurants near me
- Chiropractor Gold Coast
- Doctors in Burleigh Heads
- Dentists in Oxenford
Basically, with local SEO, you optimise your business website to show up at the top of Google search results for local search terms that your ideal customers will likely be using to search for products or services like yours around them.
If you have a well-executed local Search Engine Optimisation strategy for your business, and you dominate the search results for those terms, you will witness an increase in your volume of walk-in traffic along with your online traffic.
The Power of Local SEO
To show you how far a well-executed local SEO strategy can take a local business, below, I have quoted stats from research conducted by Think With Google.
The stats highlight how people who run a local SEO search end up as paying customers.
According to the stats:
- 50 percent of people who did a local search on their phone went to a physical store within one day.
- 34 percent who did their search on a computer or tablet did the same.
- 18 percent of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day.
- 50 percent of searchers on their mobile phones who conduct local searches are looking for things like a local business address.
- 1 in 3 searches on a smartphone was conducted just before arriving at a store.
Also, research from Bright Local indicates that 97 per cent of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12 per cent looking for a local business online every day.
These stats highlight just how powerful local SEO is, and hopefully, you are beginning to see how important it is that you start taking advantage of it to fuel the growth of your business.
How Local Businesses Can Benefit from Local SEO?
Listed below are three major benefits your business can gain from local SEO:
- It Saves You Advertising Cost: When you design and effectively execute a local SEO strategy, the organic traffic you’d be getting as a result of your Google Search Result Page appearance will minimise (or eliminate in some cases) the need to spend on paid advertising.
For example, when I search for “software development agency Dallas”, I get the result shown in the image below:
Except for “422 Studios” (which is a paid advert), the other three listings ranking on this first page of Google search results are all organic and free*. And, according to stats from Chitika, 91.5% of all search clicks happen on page 1 of Google.
Refer to the image below.
Going by this, imagine the kind of patronage they will be getting from a simple local SEO search. They get to spend $0,000.00 in advert cost but will have droves of clients walking through their doors, ordering their services.
That’s what you get when your local business appears on Google Search Result Page for your targeted local search terms.
- Your Business Will Appear on Google Maps: If you are a business with a physical location and you rank your business for local SEO terms, Google will start showing your business location on Google’s Local Pack.
Showing up on Google Maps is very important, as doing so will help searchers with buying intent to quickly locate the physical location of your store with the help of Google Maps navigation.
Illustrating with the same “software development agency Dallas” example, from the screenshot below, you can see that some businesses have been pinned on the map.
When searchers click on the Google pins, they can get precise directions to physical locations of the businesses featured in the map.
- Detect and Bridge Gaps In Your Business Offerings:
Aside from ranking your business website highly on Google and getting an increase in traffic, you can also use local SEO (research) to spy on your competitors and see what they are doing differently.
Using a free or paid version of an SEO tool like SEM Rush, you can track the search terms that your ideal clients are using to access your competitors’ website. If it turns out they are using keywords related to product or service offerings that you have been oblivious of, you can plug in those holes to beef up your offering and increase clientele base.
These three benefits of utilising local SEO to promote your business is just a scratch on the surface. Some other benefits are:
- It increases your website traffic.
- It strengthens your local community outreach.
- It gives you a superior online presence and increases your dominance in the local market
- It will provide you with a deep insight into your ideal customers’ intents and desires.
These and more, you stand to benefit when you do local SEO and do it according to best practices.
Local SEO Best Practices
To get the full benefits of local SEO, some time-tested best practices have to be followed. Although the SEO horizon (in general) is a fast-changing one, the practices listed below remain relevant today as it was ten years ago. Follow these best Local SEO practices, and you will reap bountifully.
- Keyword Research: This is the absolute starting point of every sound local SEO strategy. Keyword research will help you unearth the exact words and phrases that your target audience and potential customers will be using to search for businesses like yours.
Get these keywords, rank for them, and you are one step closer to the sale. Without this key step, all other efforts will amount to pouring water in a basket.
- On-page SEO: this is a set of actions that you take on your business website to communicate to Google that your business website is the most relevant site for the search phrases that your potential customers are looking up within their locality.
These actions include:
- Setting the right title tags
- Setting the correct meta description
- Optimising images and using proper alt tags
- Optimising your business website for mobile view (mobile responsiveness)
- Optimising your site for quicker loading time
When you set these things right, you will increase your chances of ranking higher in local search for the keywords you are targeting.
- Off-page SEO: These are actions you take outside of your website to improve the chances of your business website ranking high for your target search terms. One of the big needle movers for off-page SEO is building the right local SEO links.
Building links for local SEO differs from regular link building for general search ranking. Some link types that boost local SEO rankings are listed below:
- Citations/NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) links
- Links from local directory websites
- Links from local newspaper sites
- Links from chamber of commerce sites
- Links from local partner websites
- Links from niche-related local sites.
Building these types of links will boost your business’ prominence in local searches. But a little warning before you go out trying to build these links. Make sure you go outside of Google Webmaster Guidelines as regards acquiring links. Doing so might lead to a penalty from Google.
The importance of local SEO cannot be overemphasised. If you are currently implementing local SEO best practices, hopefully, this article has revealed some extra tips to boost your results.
On the flip side, if you are not yet utilising local SEO to promote your business presence online, now is the time to start.
Whichever side of the fence you are, have it in mind that starting and sustaining a local SEO strategy on an on-going basis is the key to getting the kind of results you desire. The specialised team at WebSpree Digital offers you obligation free consultation and set the right tone for your local SEO strategies. Our team members have been helping local small businesses on the Gold Coast for over 8 years now individually and we started operating under one umbrella recently as we believe a brand comprising individual talents can do much more together.
Our services include designing and developing your dream website and optimising with the best SEO practices making sure you are visible to your potential customers when they are looking for your services online. We provide effective digital marketing solutions for small business owners on the Gold Coast. We are local to Gold Coast for more than 30 years now and we understand the need of the residents here. Call us or email for a free no obligation consultation with one of our digital marketing experts and know what you might be missing out until now. We will come to your place and will bring your favourite coffee of your desired flavour.